The latest iteration of Windows is here, impressing, confounding and upsetting early adopters. As has become traditional, we pit the Microsoft OS mano-a-mano with Linux to determine the ultimate operating system. Of course, in reality this is comparing apples and oranges (and scoring them with bananas): One is a free codebase which can run on most any hardware imaginable, the other is a proprietary product with an undecouple-able GUI that, until recently, has run only on x86 PCs.
Our approach will be to consider features from the Windows 10 build available at press time, together with Microsoft’s own PR announcements and compare them with like-for-like equivalents from various Linux distributions. Much of the pre-release hype spoke to Windows 10 heralding a paradigm shift across the Windows landscape.
Certainly there are a lot of changes and perhaps most notable is that Windows 10 will be the operating system’s last incarnation. That doesn’t mean the end of Windows, but rather the beginning of “Windows as a Service”.
Updates will be pushed to consumers once Microsoft deems them ready, while businesses will be offered a choice of two release channels, dubbed Current and Long Term which offer more rigid release cycles. Individuals who purchase (or are entitled to a free) copy of Windows will see it supported “for the lifetime of that device.” Another intriguing development is that users of the pre-release Technical Preview who enroll in the Windows Insider Program can continue to use that and will have the privilege [pain, surely? – ED] of testing new features – and won’t have to pay.